Florida Vacation – Grand Floridian, Downtown Disney & the Gaylord Palms Hotel

March 27, 2015 at 1:16 am 1 comment

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In 2006 I decided to change my life.  I quit my job, rented my house out and traveled to Alaska to work for Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge for the summer.  I have not for one minute regretted that decision.  I have enjoyed each and every new experience I have had since that time nine years ago and continue to travel and experience new and fun things.

I’ve also met so many people, some of which have become good friends who, although I don’t have the opportunity to see very often, have lasted the test of time.  One of those friends I met in Alaska is Karen who, after living in several states around the country, has settled in Zephyrhills, Florida along with her husband Jon.

Grand Floridian Resort

The majestic Grand Floridian Resort

I recently flew to Florida to visit Karen and do a little traveling and have some fun in the beautiful sunny March weather.  First on the agenda was to drive to Orlando to meet up with Taty, another lady who we met in Alaska and now works at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort.  Taty met us at the hotel and treated us to a wonderful breakfast, tour of the hotel, and hours of catching up.

Breakfast with Taty and Karen

Breakfast with Taty and Karen

It's a Mickey waffle!

It’s a Mickey waffle!

Catching up with old friends

Catching up with old friends

After taking a ride on the monorail catching glimpses of the parks and stopping off to check out the Polynesian Resort, we headed to Downtown Disney to see the sights and pick up some souvenirs.

Being silly at Downtown Disney

Being silly in Downtown Disney

Taty and Karen with Mickey and Minnie

Taty and Karen with Mickey and Minnie

A dragon made completely out of legos

A dragon made completely out of Legos

Hot air balloon ride in Downtown Disney

Hot air balloon ride in Downtown Disney

Taking the boat back to the parking lot at the end of a long and happy day

Taking the boat back to the parking lot at the end of a long and happy day

After a full day of seeing as much as we could cram into one day, three tired and happy gals took the boat back to the parking lot and headed to our hotel, the absolutely magnificent Gaylord Palms Resort.

Gaylord Palms Resort atrium.  View from our room.

Gaylord Palms Resort atrium. View from our room.

The Gaylord Palms Resort is like a world all it’s own.  The lush, tropical atrium recreate three Florida environments.  We walked along the wooden walkways over misty bogs through the Everglades section with the moss hanging from the trees, thick vegetation, streams and waterfalls, alligators (that you can watch being fed twice a week), and a wooden shack restaurant.

Alligators at the Gaylord Palms Resort

Alligators at the Gaylord Palms Resort

The Key West section has shops that resemble the relaxed, friendly atmosphere of the island.  There are also several species of fish in the streams and ponds that are fed several times a week.

A touch of Key West at the Gaylord Palms Resort

Karen standing at the Fountain of Youth just outside the Key West section of the Gaylord Palms Resort

The St. Augustine atrium features a small-scale replica of Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest fort in North America. Designers studied the ruins of the original, built by Spain in 1672 in what is now St. Augustine, to emulate its mysterious, romantic aura.  The fort displays treasures from the Spanish ship Atocha, discovered by Mel Fisher after a 16-year search. It includes a Wedding Gazebo, Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, and several restaurants and bars.

Small-scale replica of Castillo de San Marcos at the Gaylord Palms Resort

Small-scale replica of Castillo de San Marcos at the Gaylord Palms Resort

Outside there are two pools.  The family water park with a multi-level tree house playground and a huge screen that shows movies each evening called the ‘dive-in’, and the beautiful, quiet adult pool with private cabanas and two hot tubs.  The list goes on and on.  You could spend a ton of time here and never get bored.

Kids pool

Family water park

Adults only pool

Adults only pool

Next we head to Animal Kingdom and Epcot.

 

 

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Entry filed under: Travel. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Stray dog saved from freezing cold in New York park Florida Vacation – Disney World Animal Kingdom & Epcot

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Eunice Nichols  |  March 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Was that just chapter one of the BLOG?…VERY NICE…should write a book of all your travel and share with the world…and everyone will go along Will await chapter two!!
    Missed you at WA this morning…no rain, a little cool but once she gets us working out it is warmer.

    Reply

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